The Asian naphtha margin eased 3.1% to a low of US$129.78/ton on Thursday, weighed down by expectations of more European cargoes arriving next month as traders were drawn by strong Eastern premiums, as per Reuters. The anticipation of more supply has also offset earlier concerns over the lost of production in the Middle East and strong demand from Taiwan and South Korea.
Asia's top naphtha buyer, Formosa Petrochemical Corp, is seeking cargoes for H1-February delivery. Traders estimated that it may buy 100,000-150,000 tons. About 150,000 tons of naphtha will be lost following the 20-day shutdown of the PetroRabigh refinery which started on Saturday due to a power cut. About 650,000 tons of Western naphtha are expected to land in Asia this month. February numbers are likely to be higher.